Good Question! Recap: The Purpose of Religion, How Thinking Changes, and Finding Loved Ones in Heaven? — 9/9/19

Watch full episode here!

Our expert panel has gathered to answer viewer questions with the help of the writings of eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.

The panel members are:

  • Curtis Childs, host of Swedenborg & Life
  • Chara Daum, Latin consultant, New Century Edition
  • Chris Dunn, community manager for Swedenborg & Life
  • Karin Childs, writer for Swedenborg & Life

Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.

1. What will be our greatest worry/concern in heaven?

Even angels can find themselves drifting from the Lord, and when we drift, we might worry about how we’ll get back. Since heaven is a relationship with God, it’s important to be sure that there are no blockages that can get in the way of the divine love that flows through us. We might also find ourselves worrying about others we care about, just as we do here on earth, and hoping that they’ve also found their way to heaven. Remember that angels are human, so it’s understandable that they would have the same kinds of questions and concerns that we have in the natural world.

2. Is religion to help us through this life or to prepare us for heaven? Are people surprised that their religion was “wrong”?

All worthwhile religions are fundamentally about love, and love will serve us well in heaven. Religion is a tool to organize how we think about life, and like any tool, it can be useful and it can be dangerous. But done well, it can be a recipe for doing good and serving our purpose here on earth and in heaven. As for being surprised about whether your religion was wrong or not, bending one’s understanding to come to terms with how things really are is a gradual process.

Curtis, Chara, and Chris sit at the anchor desk. A question from audience member Lavender Rose appears across the bottom of the screen, reading "Is religion to help us through this life, or to prepare us for Heaven? Are people surprised that their religion was 'wrong'?"

3. Is there a group waiting for us when we transition? Or a lineup?

Swedenborg describes the transition in detail, and he makes it clear that we’ll be immediately welcomed by a community of angels who will show us unconditional love. We’ll also encounter communities of people who are similar to us, which will most likely contain our loved ones.

4. If we start out in one community [in heaven] and then grow and move to higher communities, how do we end up with our deceased spouses if they die many years apart?

Even here on earth, we are already in spiritual communities and always moving upward. A partner who dies first doesn’t move up any faster—they just can see their progress more clearly in the afterlife. Remember that there’s no time in the afterlife. If minds and hearts are connected, they stay connected across both physical and spiritual worlds.

5. I always wondered how our thinking will change in heaven compared to the world of spirits?

The world of spirits is the closest to us here on earth, and it is where we figure out who we are and so do most of our thinking. Our thoughts are all influenced by the communities around us, and the world of spirits is filled with earthly thoughts. In heaven, though, our hearts and minds are in sync, things are in order, and we have a sense of peace and relief.

6. Did Swedenborg ever discuss what the Lord actually is and how the Lord came into being?

Since God is infinite, God has no beginning and end. Swedenborg most often referred to Jesus Christ as the Lord. God is pure love itself, and it’s hard for a human to understand or relate with that. It’s like hugging the sun! So the Lord Jesus Christ allows humans to interface with that pure love.

7. How do we find our particular peer group in heaven? Will we be shown or will we seek out others like ourselves?

While there are always going to be people similar to us, heaven is all about wanting the well-being of everybody. We will find the group where we’ll be most comfortable, and that group will seek us out, too. Once we’re in that group, we’ll be able to start good work together.

Karin sits at her desk in front of a bookshelf. A question from audience member Gloria Vargo appears across the bottom of the screen, reading: "How do we find our particular peer group in heaven? Will we be shown or will be seek out others like ourselves?"

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Related Swedenborg & Life Videos

How Spirits Influence Our Thinking (News from Heaven)

How to Get a Home in Heaven

How You End Up in Heaven or Hell

The Levels of Heaven

What Happens Immediately After You Die

“Who Was Swedenborg?”

Free E-Book Downloads

Apocalypse Explained

Apocalypse Revealed

Divine Love and Wisdom

Divine Providence

Heaven and Hell

Last Judgment / Supplements

Life / Faith

Marriage Love

The Lord

New Jerusalem

Other Planets

Sacred Scripture / White Horse

Secrets of Heaven

True Christianity

Read more Swedenborg & Life episode recaps >


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About Swedenborg & Life

In a lighthearted and interactive webcast format, host Curtis Childs from the Swedenborg Foundation and featured guests explore topics from Swedenborg’s eighteenth-century writings about his spiritual experiences and afterlife explorations and discuss how they relate to modern-day life and death.
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About offTheLeftEye

When we wake up in heaven, Swedenborg tells us, angels roll a covering from off of our left eye so that we can see everything in a spiritual light. The offTheLeftEye YouTube channel uses an array of educational and entertaining video formats to look at life and death through an uplifting spiritual lens.
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